Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Evans Above (Constable Evans, #1)” as Want to Read:
Evans Above (Constable Evans, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Evans Above (Constable Evans #1)

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  2,417 Ratings  ·  200 Reviews
Constable Evan Evans is new in Welsh village of Llanfair. Betsy, lusty busty barmaid, vies for his favors with sweet teacher Bronwen. Teen Dilys begs him for a dance, then vanishes.

Child molester, flasher, and prisoners released early, are on the loose. Who pushed two men off Snowdon mountains? And who vandalized Mrs Powell-Jones' prized tomatoes?
Paperback, 214 pages
Published December 1998 by Berkley Prime Crime Penguin Putnam (first published 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Evans Above, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Evans Above

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kirsten *Don't Be A Grinch*
Dec 12, 2015 Kirsten *Don't Be A Grinch* rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable mystery. Very reminiscent of Hamish Macbeth (except the people aren't nearly as silly). I guess maybe people are just a little edgier in North Wales. I really enjoyed this. It has a good meaty mystery as well as delightful characters and setting. Should think of no less from the lady who brought us Lady Georgiana.
2.5 Stars

Ahh, who doesn't like visiting new places in a cozy mystery book? I love to, especially when they take me to cute little villages and hamlets like Llanfair. This was my first time reading a book by this author and though I've seen some other books written by her I wasn't too familiar with her work.

Lucky me this one was chosen as one of the 4 monthly group reads in one of my GoodReads groups. Now while I'm glad that I gave a new author a try (I've been trying to read a lot of new to me
Let me start off by saying that Rhys Bowen is hands down the best historical mystery author I've ever read. She manages to combine true events and her characters so well that you wonder if her characters couldn't have really been at these events. However, I've finished her Royal Spyness series (though I have the ARC for the next one sitting on my Nook!) and her Molly Murphy series, so that left me with only one more series to read; the Constable Evan Evans mystery series. I can say that, though ...more
Natasha M.
While the Her Royal Spyness have a sort of sweeping tongue-in-cheek and yes, ridiculous but still cutely charming in its own right story lines (who can say no to Darcy O'Mara?) I'd say the Constable Evans series (though this is the first one I've read) is a little bit more grounded rather than theatrical.

Taking place in modern day Wales (oh Welsh words, I don't even know where to start with you lot) we get a look at the idyllic village life. There's mt. Snowdon, there's a town that knows everyt
Kathy Davie
Feb 04, 2011 Kathy Davie rated it really liked it
The first in the mystery series, Constable Evans, Evans Above feels like a cross between the village life of Agatha Christie with the camaraderie between Inspector Jury and Divisional Commander Brian Macalvie in Martha Grimes' Richard Jury series. Evans has left big-city crime behind for the peace and tranquility of village life in Wales and has no desire to become entangled with any woman. Ahh, to dream for so little...and not get it. Evans soon becomes entangled. With a series of unexplained m ...more
An Odd1
Apr 20, 2015 An Odd1 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Wales is a vacation, however eerie, misty. First book has serious elements. Evan is nice; I look forward to hanging around with him. He's naive like Chesney aka Beaton's Hamish but stays out of other beds. Unknown peeping creeps and flashbacks annoy. Llanfair pub has likable and fun folk.

Stew, Jimmy, "one of Danny's close friends in their little gang from hut 29 .. must have sent the postcard" p 2, "Tommy" asks his way politely "in his cheerful cockney .. looking for the Everest Inn" p 3. Manag
Sep 14, 2016 kari rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Fun mystery, start of a series, but I knew that going in.
Evan Evans is the constable of a small Welsh village. There is lots of bits about the locals and how the larger police force thinks a village copper should leave the detecting to the bigger department, but the mystery is local and Evan is in the thick of it.
I've read Rhys Bowen's Her Royal Spyness series and really enjoyed it so thought I'd see what else she has to offer and I was not disappointed.
The mystery is great. The location is goo
Jul 24, 2009 Paula rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime, series
Picked this one up as a bookswap, as I'm always on the lookout for first books of new series so I can try stuff out...

There's a comment on the cover of Evans Above that likens the series to the Hamish Macbeth novels of MC Beaton and that should have told me everything I needed to know about this one. Like the aforementioned novels, Evans Above is about a big-city police officer coming to a small village, this time in the heart of Snowdonia.

The eponymous Evans becomes involved in a mystery when t
Dec 29, 2013 Hal rated it liked it
This is the initial volume in the Constable Evans series. I had previously read "Evan Help Us," which I liked just enough to look into this book.

After reading these two cozy mysteries, I find that Rhys Bowen seems to need a few chapters to warm up. I think she relies a little too much on an unlikely coincidence in this book, which to me is a sign of weak writing. I don't want to detail the coincidence here, to avoid spoiling the story for those who have not finished the book.

More importantly, I
Jul 20, 2012 Dagny rated it really liked it
Shelves: bowen-rhys
This is the first in Bowen's series featuring Evan Evans, constable of Llanfair, Wales. In this novel we meet the residents of Llanfair, many of whom are named Evans and distinguished by such names as Evans-the-Meat, Evans-the-Milk, Evans-the-Post, and Evans-the-Law. We are introduced to two of the local women who are interested in Evans-the-Law and his mothering landlady who would like to set him up with her granddaughter. The mystery, the deaths of two hikers on the mountain, is intriguing and ...more
Mar 22, 2011 Erin rated it it was ok
I've read most of these, b/c my library has them. And I like the information about Welsh culture b/c I had a friend who was Welsh. I, also, like that I wasn't always able to solve the mystery/murder. But the prejudices of the different pastors (and church goers) in the small village don't betray Christians in a good way. And it annoyed me b/c it didn't seem relevant to the story, but was thrown in to poke fun of Christian beliefs.
Ruth Balf
Apr 03, 2016 Ruth Balf rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
It was a lovely, light read. I just smiled through it a lot. Such innocent characters in a mythical welsh village. What's not to like?
Kat Walter
Nov 21, 2016 Kat Walter rated it liked it
Like the characters in this cozy mystery. This is first of series. Quick, mindless read and I will probably read more of them.
Nov 08, 2016 Debbie rated it liked it
Shelves: shop
I normally do not read off shore based books, but I picked this up at a booksale and I really did enjoy it. I like that Ms. Bowen writes in the local dialect. I will be moving on in this series.
As in many other reviews, references are made to the Hamish MacBeth series by MC Beaton. I didn't care for that series, and I didn't like this series either. I found it very dull, and didn't feel like the characters were interesting. A light read? Yes. Are there other light reads out there that are much more interesting? Definitely! I will not be continuing on with this series.
Anastassia Dyubkova
Apr 28, 2016 Anastassia Dyubkova rated it liked it
That was the trouble with Wales - you didn't think it was a foreign country, but it was.

Я начинаю всерьёз недоумевать, почему во всех попадающихся мне книгах, где местом действия является Уэльс, основные события сосредоточены именно в Северном Уэльсе. Чем писателям не угодил Южный с его шахтами, для меня загадка, но почитать про деревню у подножия горы Сноудон (или по-местному Yr Wyddfa) тоже было, в общем, неплохо.
Чего в этой книге точно хватает, так это валлийского колорита - он очень чувствуе
Jul 07, 2011 Hannah rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I've heard Evans Above referred to as a Welsh version of Hamish Macbeth. There are a few similarities - they're both young constables at small villages (Evans at the Welsh village of Llanfair and Hamish at Lochdubh), but that's pretty much where it ends. Both are great reads, but where Hamish is lazy and sometimes hilariously shameless, Evans is good-natured and straightforward. Rhys Bowen does a great job of writing a nice mix of interesting village characters.

I really like Evans; he's describe
Jacqueline O.
Jul 23, 2015 Jacqueline O. rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Cozy Mystery fans, Mystery fans
Recommended to Jacqueline O. by: Margaret Moleski
Shelves: fiction, mystery, british
This time this book was recommended to me by my Mom - who received the entire collection from a friend. This is a typical British Cozy-style mystery. Or, to be precise, a Welsh cozy set in Northern Wales in a small village at the foot of Mount Snowdon. Evan Evans is the local police constable, who returned to Llanfair a few years ago after training in the police in Swansea. The small village of Llanfair is home to many colorful, interesting characters, including three more Evans - known as ...more
Evans Above by Rhys Bowen is the first book of her Constable Evans mystery series set in Wales. Evan Evans is a constable in the North Wales police force. He trained as a detective in Swansea, but chose to leave the violent crime of the city for the peace of the mountains. He is the village constable of Llanfair, a village high in the Snowdonian mountain range, and he is a member of the mountain rescue crew.

The tiny village has several residents named Evans: Evans-the-Meat, Evans-the-Milk, Evans
Jan 01, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was ok
The first in a series of mysteries focused on the constable of a small welsh village. I felt that is rambled a bit, was quite repetitive and the systery solution while sufficiently convoluted was also pretty sketchy. Its a quick light read in the cozy mystery genre if that's what you're in the mood for.

The book reminded me strongly of M.C. Beaton's Hamish MacBeth series (complete with a hero constable with a slightly ridiculous name - Evan Evans) but set in Wales instead of the Scottish Highland
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Much more readable than Her Royal Spyness. Yes, it's cosy fiction, yes, many of the characters are cardboard--but it's mental popcorn, and not as full of glaring mistakes and silliness as the other series. Besides, it's set in Wales! :) I only caught one obvious glitch, which is when Evans uses the term bach when speaking to a woman. The feminine form of bach is fach, and anyway--cariad would be a more common equivalent for "luv" in speaking to a woman, at least in my experience. But maybe he di ...more
Susan B
Oct 05, 2011 Susan B rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
A library customer introduced me to this author and series. For some reason, I thought it was a 'Christian' mystery, but apart from two competing churches and their pastors' wives, there's nothing 'Christian' about it. That being said, it's not at the graphic and gory end of the spectrum, and there's little offensive language.

Evan Evans is a constable in the sleepy Welsh community of Llanfair. When two hikers die on Mount Snowdon and Evans' superior dismisses the deaths as a curious coincidence,
May 11, 2011 Judy rated it really liked it
Quick read of a multiple murder mystery set in Wales. Won't be seeing me in Wales soon as I love warmth and sunshine. A few typos that made me grateful for the last few books not having any that I noticed. Makes me think of life here in the 50s as the story is set in a small town of Wales. I was annoyed that Pigs Trail was mentioned at least three times and that it was the steeper/faster trail. Once is enough with me as I don't have to be hit over the head. I wanted to upchuck at the description ...more
Jul 14, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it
#1 in the Evan Evans series. Constable Evans is happy in the small village of Llanfair, North Wales, after leaving detective training behind in the city of Swansea. But the everyday life of chaperoning teen dances and investigating stolen pies is interrupted when dead bodies start appearing on the local mountain. Sgt. Watkins calls the first two accidents but Evan doesn't think so and begins to find evidence to bolster his opinion.

Evan Evans series - Evan Evans, a young, unattached North Wales p
Nov 29, 2015 Marty rated it liked it
(A quick trip from the Cotswolds of Agatha Raisin to the mountains of Wales.) Constable Evan Evans had left the seaside city where he was a detective to return to his quiet home village in the mountains. He and the other members of the community knew the mountains well. They formed a rescue team that often had to help out tourists coming to the newly opened resort to challenge the mountains. Now known as “Evans-the-law” he fits in with the rest of the locals several of whom are also named Evans. ...more
Sep 21, 2013 Fanficfan44 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-mystery
I just read Evans Above the first book in the Constable Evans series by Rhys Bowen. This book has been in my TBR pile forever, no really I mean it, at least two years. I don’t know why I never seemed to get around to it but now I am so glad that I did. I loved the setting, a small Scottish Village and the ancillary characters are done quite well. The murder plot was well crafted and I did not solve it until close to the end. There was quite a bit of action, both related to the original crime and ...more
Sep 03, 2011 Brett rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-cozy
A very entertaining depiction of life in a small North Welsh village, with well-drawn characters & a good mystery thrown in. Evan Evans is enjoying his new job as Constable for the small village of Llanfair, even if it means sometimes dealing with the more eccentric local characters (a barmaid who's determined to throw herself at him; a minister's wife who's convinced the other minister's wife is trying to ruin her prize plants) - it's certainly more quiet & relaxed than being a city ...more
May 03, 2015 Kate rated it it was ok
A murder mystery set in Wales where a local copper takes on a murder case that his supervisors aren't interested in pursuing, preferring to write it off as a tragic accident. Sound familiar? It should, as the plot is strikingly similar to that of M.C. Beaton's Hamish McBeth series, first published nearly 12 years earlier. Even the main character is similar in his reticence to settle down into a relationship, even if the love interest story is presented differently. Also not unlike that series, ...more
Jan 24, 2016 Carole rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-books-read
In a small Highland village in Wales where nothing much happens, three people are killed. Two are found, apparently killed by falling off the mountain, and the other found on the mountain with his throat slit. Constable Evan Evans doesn't think the first two fell; he thinks they were murdered, but the higher ups think they accidently fell and tell him to drop the case. Of course he continues to investigate and finds that the first two were mates in the army and that another mate had been lost on ...more
Dec 27, 2014 Cmoore rated it it was amazing
This book feels like the perfect British cozy (despite the author being an American). It takes place in a small town, of which the majority of the population shares the same surname (Evans). Evans the Constable, aka Evans the Law, is our main character. There is also Evans the Post (mailman), Evans the Meat (butcher), and so on, named as such so no one gets confused about whom they're referring to when they gossip. Add to that two churches right across the street from one another. The one used ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Cold Light of Mourning (A Penny Brannigan Mystery #1)
  • Anything Goes (Grace & Favor, #1)
  • Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth, #2)
  • The Body In The Transept (Dorothy Martin, #1)
  • Alpine for You (Passport to Peril, #1)
  • Sweet Revenge (A Lady Arianna Regency Mystery, #1)
  • Twelve Drummers Drumming (Father Christmas Mystery #1)
  • Murder On Monday
  • The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries (Mrs. Jeffries, #1)
  • Family Skeletons (Torie O'Shea, #1)
  • Off Kilter (Scottish Highlands, #1)
  • The Dead Cat Bounce (Home Repair is Homicide, #1)
  • The Young Widow (Phillip Bethancourt and Jack Gibbons Mysteries #1)
  • Murder at Longbourn (An Elizabeth Parker Mystery, #1)
  • The Companion (Lizzie Martin, #1)
  • The Christie Curse (Book Collector Mystery #1)
  • Snobbery With Violence (Edwardian Murder Mysteries, #1)
"I'm a New York Times bestselling mystery author, winner of both Agatha and Anthony awards for my Molly Murphy mysteries, set in 1902 New York City.

I also write the Agatha-winning Royal Spyness series, about the British royal family in the 1930s. It's lighter, sexier, funnier, wicked satire. It was voted by readers as best mystery series one year.
I am also known for my Constable Evans books, set
More about Rhys Bowen...

Other Books in the Series

Constable Evans (10 books)
  • Evan Help Us (Constable Evans, #2)
  • Evanly Choirs  (Constable Evans, #3)
  • Evan and Elle  (Constable Evans, #4)
  • Evan Can Wait (Constable Evans, #5)
  • Evans to Betsy (Constable Evans, #6)
  • Evan Only Knows (Constable Evans, #7)
  • Evan's Gate (Constable Evans, #8)
  • Evan Blessed (Constable Evans, #9)
  • Evanly Bodies (Constable Evans, #10)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“looked up. “Maybe that will jog someone’s memory and make them come” 0 likes
More quotes…